The Evolution of the Need - Thalidomide 1957

The importance of separation

The crucial importance of separation between two identical Chiral molecules just with a different orientation was demonstrated with tragic results with the introduction of Thalidomide in 1957 in Germany Primarily prescribed as a sedative or hypnotic, thalidomide also claimed to cure "anxiety,  insomnia, gastritis, and tension".

Afterwards, it was used against nausea and to alleviate morning sickness in pregnant women. Unfortunately the wrong chiral molecule that was part of the solution led to terrible consequences of disfigured, limb less babies.

Since then the importance of Chiral separation in Pharmaceuticals, Agritech food and Fragrances, has grown through regulation and performance requirements.

The separation of chiral molecules did not evolve much in the last 50 years, and requires an expensive long development trial and error process at scale up stage, that does not always lead to a successful repeatable outcome.

Read further on the Thalidomide tragedy click here

Arie Laor